DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who is active on Facebook -- always updating her status, writing on friends' walls and posting photos of her activities. A lot of the times, the photos she puts up are of her at parties and other events. I am sure she would not want a family member or employer to see some of these pictures, but she evidently hasn't really thought about this, as she continues to post unsavory pictures of herself.
Frankly, I don't care what she does in her free time, but I don't want her to get hurt because she put a bad picture on Facebook. How do I suggest that she take down these pictures without sounding like I am judging her? -- Paranoid, Kalamazoo, Mich.
DEAR PARANOID: The best way to be a friend to this person is to be honest and upfront about your concerns. Tell her that you understand she loves to use social media but that you have learned employers surf the Internet to learn whether potential employees have the desired scruples and moral fortitude.
The reality is that what people do in their spare time DOES matter. Everything you do matters to your life and the quality of experiences that you can enjoy. That means that how you document what you do is key to contemplate.
Naturally, everybody makes mistakes sometimes. However, I would strongly suggest to your friend that she remove any questionable material from her Facebook page and, more, that she consider curbing any actions that may be considered unsavory.
If your friend thinks she must keep questionable images and comments posted, suggest she restrict access to "Friends" only. But let her know that even with restricted access, someone can take a screen shot and share it with others. So the best decision would be to take down the unsavory content immediately.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My senior prom is coming up, and I see that all the girls going are spending tons of money on dresses. I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount on a dress that I'm going to wear only once, but I also don't want to be embarrassed if my dress is clearly the cheapest one there. What should I do? -- Prudent Student, Gallup, N.M.
DEAR PRUDENT STUDENT: You are wise to want to spend your money carefully. Guess what? You can rent a high-end dress -- one you would probably never consider if you were going to buy a dress outright.
One of the popular websites that rent high-end clothing is www.renttherunway.com. You can find a wide array of fashion options there at extremely affordable prices, starting at $40.
Typically, you select a dress in your size and a size up. You have to return the items within seven days. It's a brilliant alternative to breaking your bank.
My former intern used Rent the Runway recently and was very pleased -- and she didn't see anyone wearing the same dress.
Additionally, you can embellish a dress you already have with fancy accessories. You don't have to be wearing the most fabulous outfit in the room to enjoy yourself. And you don't have to go cheap just because your resources are limited.